Changing the Game and Controlling the Ship: A Conversation with Yo Gotti [INTERVIEW + MIXTAPE STREAM] by Christopher A. Daniel @YoGottiKOM @Journalistorian


Politics in the music business have been a recurring test to Yo Gotti’s recording career. Releasing a total of six studio albums, the North Memphis-born rapper and businessman famous for inundating the mixtape circuit signed deals with TVT Records, Cash Money/Universal Records and Polo Grounds/RCA Records. Along the way, he survived label bankruptcies, not having his music properly promoted, and witnessing first-hand executives deciding to shelve his material, leaving Yo Gotti to wonder if he never needed major label support in the first place. Read more of this post

Did Erykah Badu Just Body Drake With Her Cover of “Hotline Bling?” [FULL STREAM] @fatbellybella

As has been the case for the past several years, Drake has a hit on his hands with the extremely catchy tune “Hotline Bling.”  Leveraging the 1973 Timmy Thomas classic “Why Can’t We Live Together,” Drizzy deftly navigates the groove with keen melodies and enjoyable lyrics.  That being said, we actually think the Disclosure and Sam Smith version of the track adds some depth and harmony to the song. And now, soul sister Erykah Badu AKA Lo Down Loretta Brown may have outdone them both with her haunting version.  You be the judge: Read more of this post

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators – ‘Happiness In Every Style’ [ALBUM REVIEW + FULL STREAM] by Michael A. Gonzales @NicoleDWillis6 @gonzomike


Back in 1990, a few years before neo-soul exploded, it was all about acid jazz, a fresh style made by young people whose musical sensibilities hearkened back to the pulsating period when jazz, soul and folk were “more real.” In England, acid jazz artists like Galliano and Young Disciples were being glam in the glossy pages of The Face and I-D while their American counterparts were still struggling for their breakout moment. The North American acid jazz scene was eventually brought together by New York City-based promoters/managers Maurice Bernstein and Jonathan Rudnick, who founded Giant Step in the early 1990s. Read more of this post

Is Gallant the Second Coming of Maxwell? [FULL STREAMS] @SoGallant


With an emotive, falsetto croon most closely reminiscent of Maxwell, 23-year-old R&B artist Gallant (full name: Christopher Gallant) is destined for a major breakthrough sooner than later. Having studied music at NYU before launching his professional career, Gallant’s unique style initially clashed with industry standards, and he was told that his sound was not sufficiently marketable. Since that time, Gallant has gained some considerable exposure, most notably with revered tastemaker Zane Lowe, who debuted and championed his song “Weight in Gold” on Apple Music. Read more of this post

Jimi Tents Drops New Single “Landslide” from Forthcoming EP [FULL STREAM] @Jimitents


Brooklyn rapper Jimi Tents is preparing to drop his first solo project 5 O’clock Shadow on October 23rd. Given his recent track record, any new material from Jimi Tents is just cause for excitement. Since the release of his critically-acclaimed single “Elmer Fudd,” Jimi has been squarely on the radar of hip-hop enthusiasts everywhere. The New York native is taking it upon himself to represent his city through his musical efforts, aiming to change the perception of NYC rap. Most impressively, this kid has garnered considerable buzz at only 19 years young. Read more of this post

Disclosure – ‘Caracal’ [ALBUM REVIEW + FULL STREAM] by Justin Chadwick @disclosure @justin_chadwick


Close your eyes, rewind your mind to a few years ago, and recapture that revelatory moment that you heard Disclosure’s inspired music for the first time. Your introduction to the fraternal London-based house tandem of Guy and Howard Lawrence likely came just shy of three years ago when you first heard the dazzling single “Latch.” It was also your first taste of the precociously talented then-20-year-old crooner Sam Smith, whose career has been in non-stop ascension mode ever since. And if you’re like me, your ears were blown wide open by the heavenly track, as your faith in the power of music to stroke your soul and shake your spirit was instantly restored. Read more of this post

Masego Reimagines Frankie Beverly & Maze with “Before I Let Glo” [FULL STREAM] @UncleSego


Masego is a self-taught musician with a truly singular sound and rhythm. So singular, in fact, that he has named the genre of his music “TrapHouseJazz.” Best known for his saxophone prowess, Masego’s recent releases include the Pink Polo EP featuring Medasin, and TrapHouseJazz. The track available to stream below is an intriguing flip on the all-time classic “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze. Enjoy!

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Angel Haze Heads ‘Back To The Woods’ with New Mixtape [FULL STREAM] @AngelHaze


Nearly two years since she dropped her 2013 debut album Dirty Gold, the lyrically dexterous emcee-slash-vocalist Angel Haze has unleashed a brand spankin’ new project entitled Back To The Woods. Across the 13 tracks unleashed here, the Detroit native spits much fire and gives her listeners a whole lot to contemplate, with producer Ty Kayembe’s atmospheric beats serving as the perfect soundscape for Haze to shine. Dopeness defined. Read more of this post

New Heat From Bryson Tiller: “Just Another Interlude” [FULL STREAM] @brysontiller


Bryson Tiller is a Louisville, Kentucky native whose buzz started to take off in early 2015 with the release of tracks like “Don’t” and “How About Now Freestyle .” With over 30 million total plays accumulated via his Soundcloud page thus far, Tiller’s arrival on the music scene has not gone unnoticed. As he continues to ride the wave, the young artist is plotting the October 2nd release of his debut album entitled T R A P S O U L, which is a genre he created to best categorize his sound.  Available to stream below, “Just Another Interlude” presumably offers a taste of what’s to come from the forthcoming project. Read more of this post

Raury Collaborates with Tom Morello on New Single “Friends” [FULL VIDEO] @Raury @tmorello


Since he dropped his Indigo Child mixtape last year, we’ve been all ears when it comes to Raury’s music. The highly-touted, hyper-talented Atlanta native possesses a penchant for clever songcraft that belies his 19 years and a kaleidoscopic sound that’s thankfully tough to define. As evidenced by previous singles “God’s Whisper,” “Cigarette Song,” and “Devil’s Whisper,” Raury sprinkles dashes of soul, hip-hop, rock, folk and other sonic ingredients for a uniquely satisfying pop gumbo that’s equal amounts cerebral and visceral. Read more of this post

Disclosure & Lion Babe Deliver Dazzling Collaboration “Hourglass” [FULL STREAM] @disclosure @LionBabe @Jillonce @Astro_Raw


Two years have rapidly passed since Disclosure’s critically and commercially acclaimed debut LP Settle took the globe by storm. So it comes as no surprise that the UK duo’s forthcoming sophomore long player Caracal (due to arrive September 25th) is one of the year’s most eagerly awaited albums. Thankfully, the group has diligently released a few delicious teasers over the past month or so to ensure our appetites are sufficiently whetted. First up was the infectious house banger aptly titled “Bang That,” followed by the electro-soul euphoria of “Holding On” featuring the incomparable Gregory Porter, and most recently, the gorgeous “Omen” featuring Sam Smith. Read more of this post

#CrateClassics: The Isley Brothers’ Essential Albums [FULL ALBUM STREAMS]


By Justin Chadwick | @justin_chadwick

[Editor’s Note: “Crate Classics” is a new recurring soulhead column that pays homage to the essential albums of artist discographies. While the LPs featured here are chosen thoughtfully and passionately upon exploring the respective artists’ recorded repertoire, the selections also inevitably reflect our subjective preferences. So of course, we encourage all soulhead readers worldwide to weigh in with your personal favorites in the comments section below or via our Facebook and Twitter feeds.]

Nearly 56 years ago to the day, the Cincinnati-bred vocal trio originally comprised of brothers O’Kelly, Ronald and Rudolph Isley released their breakout single “Shout,” which remains one of the most enduring soul classics ever committed to wax. With thirty studio albums and more than one hundred official singles added to their repertoire since their first major hit—not to mention lead vocalist Ron Isley’s success as a solo artist in recent years—The Isley Brothers are unquestionably one of the most prolific bands of all-time, soul, rock, pop or otherwise. A fact that was not lost on the international Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voting body of music industry luminaries, who collectively inducted the group in 1992. Read more of this post

Lizz Wright Sings of Liberation & Love on New Album ‘Freedom & Surrender’ [REVIEW + FULL STREAM] by Christopher A. Daniel @lizzwrightmusic @Journalistorian


Photo by Jesse Kitt

With four albums in just 12 years, singer/songwriter Lizz Wright has consistently captivated audiences with her soothing, full-bodied vocal stylings and honest lyricism. The bronze-skinned songstress’ full-length releases Salt (2003), Dreaming Wide Awake (2005) and The Orchard (2008), all released under the Verve imprint, made Wright synonymous with jazz, while her last project, 2010’s Fellowship, took the Hahira, Georgia-born preacher’s daughter back to her gospel roots. Read more of this post

Don’t Sleep On Lupe Fiasco’s New ‘Pharaoh Height 2/30’ Mixtape [FULL STREAM] @LupeFiasco


Lupe Fiasco recently caught fans off guard when he decided to drop a new 6-track mixtape entitled Pharaoh Height 2/30. Now, it’s been awhile since the Chicagoan was at the center of rap’s stage, but the skills haven’t faded with the limelight. The intricate flows, ivy-league vocab, and conceptually imaginative storytelling that have defined Lupe’s legendary style are all thankfully still intact. Read more of this post

The Story of Gary Clark Jr.’s Inspirations by Michael A. Gonzales [INTERVIEW] @GaryClarkJr @gonzomike

Gary Clark Jr. @ AFROPUNK Festival, Brooklyn, NY 8-23-15 | Photo Credit: Marcia Wilson

Gary Clark Jr. @ AFROPUNK Festival, Brooklyn, NY 8-23-15 | Photo Credit: Marcia Wilson


Praised by Rolling Stone magazine, Eric Clapton and Alicia Keys, contemporary bluesman Gary Clark Jr.’s career has propelled quite nicely since his big-label debut Blak and Blu was released in 2012. Since then, the 31-year-old Austin, Texas native has toured the world, boogied with Beyoncé, and opened for D’Angelo while also managing to record one of the most dynamic albums this year, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, due out September 11th. Although schooled by the blues from the age of 12, Clark is also down with the bop of hip-hop, the bottom of fierce funk, and the dramatics of classic rock. Read more of this post

Vivian Green Reinvigorates Her Sound on New Album ‘VIVID’ by Christopher A. Daniel [INTERVIEW + FULL ALBUM STREAM] @iamviviangreen @KWAMEDIDIT @Journalistorian


Vivian Green is more than the sad girl that sings ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ or ‘Gotta Go, Gotta Leave.’ My sole mission period is to let people see she is better than one single.” This is the recurring point that polka dot-wearing hip-hop legend-turned producer and composer Kwamé (Holland) makes anytime he’s in his zone talking about the R&B vocalist’s fifth studio LP, VIVID. Read more of this post

Raye 6 – High Hopes – Lonely People @Raye6 [FULL STREAM]


We love Raye 6 for so many reasons.  First, she can sing.  Second, she has mad creative flavor.  Third, she lives and creates in Brooklyn.  Fourth, she’s F–king dope.  Fifth, she’s a little naughty.  Sixth…ok, we could go on and on.

Although we first fell for her vibe with the amazing Not Gonna Be (Forever), we have really enjoyed most of her work since then.  So that being said, we love this record even though it is a little sad and almost unimaginable that someone would not pick up the phone with this amazingly talented woman on the line.  Who ever this person is, Raye, you don’t need them.  It is them, not you.  :-)  Raye6

For the rest of you who are not UP as they say on her impressive groove, stop reading and push play below to hear this previously unreleased track from this powerful and talented sister.

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Method Man – ‘The Meth Lab’ [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @ghostfacekillah @methodman

This morning, we learned from Ghostface Killah‘s Facebook page that his Wu comrade, Method Man, just dropped a new joint. Of course, we had to deliver it to everyone in the soulhead Universe first as we listen in ourselves. Apparently, along with acting, Meth has been corralling some of his best buds (pun intended) to march out some new tunes. He collabs with a couple Wu partners but really focuses on shining a light on some new cats like Hanz On and Hue Huf, among others. The real treat is hearing Meth and Redman flow together again PLUS they have provided instrumentals through Spotify so you can create your own cuts. This dawg day of Summer has just been made fresher! Read more of this post

Rachel Foxx Strikes Gold with New Single “Fall for Me” by Jay Fingers [INTERVIEW + STREAM] @MSRACHELFOXX @KIDBASSMUSIC @TheJasonJulian @JayFingers

Rachel Foxx has struck gold.

The London-based singer/songwriter is gearing up for the release of her long-awaited new EP Gold, and has just dropped the first single, “Fall for Me.”

As exemplified by the lead single, Gold promises to showcase Foxx’s artistic growth. “I feel more confident and comfortable with my art,” the smoky voiced chanteuse tells soulhead. She goes on further to explain that Gold is “a bit more refined [than her eponymous first EP].  A lot of the things I wrote on my first EP, I wrote when I was, like, 18 years old. On Gold, a lot of the music is newer and developed. It’s still got the same feel though, same instruments, same concepts.” Read more of this post

‘The Eephus’ EP Suggests Wonderful Sounds to Come from Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records [REVIEW + FULL STREAM] @JanelleMonae @Jidenna @Deepcotton @StBeautyband @RomanGianArthur @wondaland


With just two albums under her belt, Janelle Monáe is already widely and deservedly regarded as a musical visionary who possesses charisma, confidence and style in vast abundance. In the nearly two years since the release of her most recent LP The Electric Lady, Monáe has been diligently channeling her creative passions toward something greater than her own career: Wondaland Records. After a few years of running the imprint, Monáe’s label inked a development deal with Epic/Sony this past February. In celebrating the partnership, Epic CEO L.A. Reid adamantly explained that “Janelle is a boss! She’s the first female label boss that I’ve met who is like P. Diddy and Jay Z and Andre Harrell. She’s the first female cut from that cloth.” High praise indeed from an industry legend. Read more of this post

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